Monday, July 18, 2016

Survey responses treated 
Confidential, assures PSA

TAGBILARAN CITY, July 16, (PIA)—Respondents of the ongoing Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Labor Force Survey Annual Poverty Indicator Survey (LFS-APIS) should not fear that their survey question responses would be used against them to prove tax liability. 

This as PSA Bohol Statistician Jessamyn Anne Alcazaren assures all information extracted from the survey would be treated confidential, by law.

In the past surveys, PSA enumerators have sensed respondents getting uncomfortable when subjected to APIS 

for fear that their responses would be used to update their tax position. 

On this and to prove her point, Alcazaren cited provisions of the Philippine Statistics Act. 

Section 26 of the Philippine Statistics Act says individual data furnished by a respondent to statistical inquiries, surveys and censuses of the PSA shall be considered privileged communication and as such shall be inadmissible as evidence in any proceeding.

Alcazaren explained that the only information coming from them after the survey is the aggregated data in the form of summaries and statistical tables and no reference to individuals, corporations shall appear in these summaries. 

The PSA said the APIS is ongoing, this started July 10 until August 2, and its enumerators roam around barangays to talk with household heads or their spouses, as the survey questionnaire would delve on family income and expenditures.

As such, due to sensitivity of information, enumerators are trained and bound by law to maintain strict confidentiality or responses, Alcazaren added. 

And because the data generated from the survey forms a critical figure to determine crucial policies for the community and the country in general, PSA urges respondents, to give truthful and complete answers to the survey questions.

And just as the PSA enumerators are bound by law to maintain strict confidentiality treatment of information gathered, a respondent who dishes out lies and false information may be handed a penalty of imprisonment and P100,000 fine 

For the PSA, or any of their enumerators breaching confidentiality of information, whether by carelessness, improper behavior, behavior with malicious intent, and use of confidential information for profit, are shall be liable to fines not less than P5,000 or more than P10,000.00) and or three months imprisonment. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

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